Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

66 Total Members, returned by pri“ vate patronage for England

309 6 and Wales, exclusive of the “ forty-five for Scotland .

“ That in this manner a majority of the 66 entire llouse is chosen, and are enabled, “ being a majority, to decide all questions " in the name of the whole people of Eng66 land and Scotland.”

All the Ministers have seats in one or No person holding an office under the the other of the Houses, and a great num- government can be a Member of either ber of their secretaries and clerks besides. House ; and no one can be appointed to Iu 1808, when an account of this matter any place (during the time for which he was ordered to be printed by the House of was elected), if such place has been created Commons, there were 76 persons in that during the time he was in the Legislature. Ilouse, who received, amongst them, 178,994 pounds sterling a year of the public inoney. What was received, in this way by the Peers and their families I have no means of knowing. But, not only can Members of either House enjoy the profits of places, or of grants; they can receive appointments and grants while they are members. They frequently take part in voting money to themselves. But, there is this safeguard, that in some cases, at least, when a member receives a lucrative appointment, he cacates his seat, and must, if he continue a Member, be re. elected! It is, however, very rarely, that his “constituents" refuse to re-elect him! Oh! la belle chose !

The king can dissolve the Parliament The President has no power to dissolve zhenever he pleases ; and the Parliament the Congress, or either of the Houses; has been dissolved at every change of uor to adjourn their meetings, unless they miniwtry for some time past. He can also disagree upon the subject. Nor can he prorogue the Houses at his pleasure. call them together at any but at periods

fixed by law, except on extraordinary occasions.

reasons.

ENGLISH GOVERNMENT.

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. If the king disapproves of a Bill, he If the President does not approve of a rejects it, at once, without assigning any Bill, passed by the two Houses, he sends

it back with his objections ; but if two thirds of both Houses persevere, the Bill

becomes a Law. The king alone coins money,

raises

The Congress alone has power to coin troops, and fits out navies.

money, to raise troops, to build and equip

ships. The privilege of habeas corpus was sus, The privilege or writ of habeas corpus pended in England for several years, dur- cannot be suspended, unless, when in ing Pitt's administration, when there was cases of rebeltion or invasion, the public neither rebellion nor invasion.

safety may require it. America has lately been invaded in several parts, has had her towns burnt and plundered, her coast ravaged and devastated; and yet, the habeas

corpus was not suspended. It is treason to compass the death of the Treason consists only in levying war king; and this may be by writing or against the UNITED STATES, or in talking, aud indirecily as well as directly, adhering to their enemies, giving them aid The crime of treason here is against the and comfort. king : in America it is against the United States; that is to say against the people. By an act of this king's reign (to last 'till his death, and a year longer) it is declared to be high treason to endeavour to overawe the king, or either house of parlidanent, into a change of measures or councils; and, at one time, it was high treason to send to any person in the domi. nions of France, a bag of flour, a Ritch of bacon, or a bushel of potatoes. In England the Church Establishment

« No law shall be made by Congress receives in rents and tythes about an eighth « respecting an established religion, or part of the amount of the rental of the whole “ prohibiting the free exercise thereof." kingdom. All the Bishops, Deans, Pre- No religious test is required of any man bends, and the greater part of the benc- to qualify him for any oflice. Any man ficed priests are appointed by the Crown. may publish what he pleases about reliThere are test laws, which shut out from gion. No tythes in America. Marriages political and civil privileges great num

are settled under the eye of the civil bers of the people; and men are frequent- Magistrate, if the parties choose, ly severely punished, put in felon's jails, and fined, and pillored into the bargain, for writing, printing, or publishing their opinions about religion.

The Bishops have seats in the House of Peers. Mar. riages are not legal unless sanctioned by the priests of the established church.

As to the liberty of SPEECII and of No law can be passed abridging the the PRESS, many acts have been passed freedom of SPEECH or of the PR ESS. to abridge both; but, particularly one on the 12th of July, 1799, which suppressed all political societies, and all societies for debuting and lecturing ; except under licences from the King's Justices of the peace, or police Magistrates. Even lodges of the poor childish Freemasons were

[blocks in formation]

AMERICAN GOVERYDENT.

compelled to have a licence to meet, and to be registerell; and, even after this, the king's Justices might order any lodge to be discontinued ; that is to say, broken up. The King's Justices, in case of disobedience of this law, might punish, at once, by a fine of £20, or three months imprisonment; or if the oifenders were convicted on indictment, they were to be transported for

Publichouse keepers were to lose their licences if they permitted such meetings at their houses. Every place for lecturing, debating, or reading newspapers, where money shall be paid, is to be deemed a disorderly house, unless previously licensed. The King's Justices were authorized to take the licence from any publican; that is to say, to put an end to his traile, upon receiving information, that seditious or immoral publications were read in his house. --As to the PRESS, every Printer is, by the same act, compelled to give notice to the clerk of the King's Justices, that he keeps a press or presses for printing, and he is to receive a certificate of having given such notice. The Justice's clerk is to transmit a copy of the notice to the King's Secretary of State, in whose oflice the names and places of abode of all the printers, and the number of the presses, &c. &c. are all nicely registered. Letter Founder's are to do the same; ard, moreover, they are to keep an account of the types and printing presses that they sell, and are to produce them, whenerer required, to any Justice of the peace Then, again, the name and place of abode of the printer must be printed on every paper, or book; and any one issuing forth, dispersing after published, any paper, or book, without the name and place of abode of the printer, to be punished by the forfeiture of L20.-The printer is compelled to keep a copy of every thing he prints ; he is to write on it the name and abode of the person zho employed him to print it, under the penalty of £20. Persops selling or handing about papers may be seized and carried before a justice to have it determined, whether they have been offending the law. Any justice may empower peace officers to search for presses and types II E suspects to be illegally used, and to seize them and the printed papers found.-Asto nerospapers, the Proprietors, Printers, and Publishers are all compelled

seven years.

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.

the paper.

1

ENGLISHI GOVERNMENT. io go to the Stamp-Office, and make an aslidavit of their being such, and a lso of their place of abode. They are compelled to deposit one copy of each paper at the office; and this copy with their own affidavits is all that is called for in proof of their being all guilty of any libel fouud in

An act was passed on the 18th of No law can be passed to abridge the December, 1795, making it death for any right of the people peaceably to assemble part of the people above 50 in number, to and to petition for a redress of grievances, meet for the purpose of petitioning, unless notice and authority for holding such Meeting be given to and obtained from the King's justices. The penalty of DEATH, without benefit of Clergy, occurs no less than nine times in this act. This act, not to spin out its details, puts all political meetings wholly under the absolute authority of the Justices, Sheriffs, and other Officers; who can in some cases prevent their taking place at all ; and, n all cases, put an end to them at their sole discretion.--First a written notice, signed by 7 householders of the place, is to be given of a meeting ; this notice is to be conveyed to the clerk of the Justices. The Justices, thus apprized of the meeting, arrive. And, if they hear any body pro. pounding, or maintaining, propositions for altering any thing by law established, except by the authority of King, Lords, and Commons, they may order the offende ing partics into custody." There needs

This is quite clear. It may be excellent; but it is impossible to find any thing like it in America. According to the amount, ordered to be

There are no sinccures in America. printed by the IIouse of Commons in 1808, the following are a few of our Sinecure :Auditor of the Exchequer,

Lord Grenville ..... L.4,000
Teller, Earl Camden 23,117

Earl Bathurst .... 2,700
Clerk of the Pells, Ilon.
H. Addington ..

no more.

3,000 Chamberlains, llon. F. North ..

1,755 Montague Burgoyne 1,660

* This Mr. BURGOYne has just written a cir. cular letter to bis weighbours in Essex, calling upon them to spend their last shilling, if neces. sary, in a war against ths Emperor of France, whoin liberalls every thing but an honest man. NB Min Burgnyne has had this place for more

than ay yerine Will he vow give it up, seeing itahtom dniegh is so much wanted for this just and

Vair

ENGLISH GOVERNMEYT.

AMERICAN GOVERYMENT. Master and Worker of

Mint, Earl Bathurst .. 3,000 Register of Admiralty and

Prize Courts, Lord Arden ....

38,556 It is stated that there are great deductions out of

The whole of the civil government of this; but it is not said who

the United States, President, Congress, receives them.

-£.77,788 Ambassadors, Ministers, do not cost

L70,000 a year, This is not being very select. I could have easily selected much fewer places, or pensions, to have made the same amount.

Here I will not take our fifty thou- There are no Pensions, except granted sanders, like the Duke of York's, but will by Congress for actual and well-knową take a few of the small fry, and especially services. the Anti-jacubin authors, or their descendants, Joseph Planta

L.120
Burke,

1,200
Sir Francis D'Ivernois ... 200
Rd. Cumberland's children 200
Mrs. Mallet du Pan....

200 Rev. Herbert Marsh

511 Wm. Gifford

329 The English Government collects from The American government collects from the people 71. 16s. each a year, including the people 12s. 6d. each, a year, in taxes, the whole population, men, women, chil. taking in the whole of the population. dren, paupers, soldiers, sailors, convicts, and prisoners of all sorts.

The King has state coaches, horse- The President has none of these. guards, foot-guards, several palaces and parks at the public expence. People kneel, and kiss the King's hạnd. Nobody ever kneels the President or

kisses his hand.

Mrs.

I could my Lord, proceed much fur- , a predominant Church. Religious opither, were it necessary; but, from what nions are to be free. There are to be no we have seen, I think, it is' plain, that books, which may not be freely comthere is no likeness whatever in the two | mented on and examined into. There is governments. As to that of France, as to be nothing so sacred that reason may it is now new-modled, it appears to me not approach it. There are to be no to resemble the American rather than tythes in France, consequently no beneours. People in France vote for Mem- fices to bestow. This is a government bers of the Legislature upon the principle certainly very much like that of America. of representation and taxation going hand Mr. Grattan observed that the French in hand. There are no feudal titles or people had exchanged the paradise of the rights in France. The Peers are, in fact, Bourbons for the “ eternal damnation of no more than eminent citizens, having no " a military despotism.” May be so; great estates attached to their titles and but, they seem resolved not to have feudal seats. There is, and there is to be, no titles and courts; monastries and tythes ; established religion. The two Chambers gabelles, corvées and game-laws. May in France, like the Congress in America, be so; but, it has not been proved. are forbidden to pass any law respecting In conclusion, my Lord, give me leave

« PreviousContinue »